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Hartford Expands Single-Stream Recycling with RecycleBank Rewards Citywide Following Successful Pilot

Written by RecycleBank
Published: October 19, 2009

Recycling Rewards Program Helps Promote Sustainability by Increasing Recycling Participation

HARTFORD, MONDAY, OCT. 19, 2009 — Today, Hartford Mayor Eddie A. Perez joined city officials and representatives from Recyclebank to announce the citywide expansion of its popular single-stream recycling program with rewards from Recyclebank. Already a success in 21 states and in the United Kingdom, Recyclebank encourages people to recycle by rewarding households with Points for their efforts. These Points are redeemable at local and national retailers, restaurants, grocers, and more. Following a pilot that began in May 2008, now close to 25,000 Hartford households will enjoy the ease of single-stream recycling and be rewarded for recycling.

“The City of Hartford is proud to announce that it is expanding Single-Stream recycling and the Recyclebank program to more Hartford households,” Mayor Perez said. “Beginning today, single-family households and multi-family buildings—with up to six units—will receive free 64-gallon blue recycling carts using special monies dedicated for green initiatives from the stimulus package signed earlier this year by President Barack Obama. The large blue carts will make it that much easier to recycle. What’s even more exciting is that this program is good for both the environment and the local economy!”

The rewards-for-recycling pilot program brought a revolutionary way for Hartford residents to recycle—single stream with rewards. Single-stream recycling means only one collection container is needed for all paper, glass, metal, cardboard, and plastic recyclables—no more sorting! Rewards translate into savings for members during these tough economic times.

“Single-stream recycling works so well because residents are given the tool needed to be successful,” Department of Public Works Assistant to the Director Marilynn Cruz-Aponte said. “The blue cart allows residents to recycle much more than what can fit in the smaller bins most residents have today.”

Mae Lewis, a 74-year-old resident in Hartford’s Blue Hills neighborhood, was an early single-stream recycler, signing up immediately with Recyclebank when the pilot program debuted in April 2008. Already an avid recycler with the city-provided 18-gallon bins, she’s put the 64-gallon barrel to good use.

“I consider myself green because I try to recycle as much as I can,” Lewis said. “When I got the new blue cart, I started recycling more because it’s so easy—I just throw everything in, I don’t have to sort it like I used to. I used to have piles and piles in the house, and now it just all goes into one place.”

In May, the City of Hartford celebrated its one-year anniversary with Recyclebank, a partnership that serviced about 4,500 households and more than doubled recycling rates.

“Making Hartford sustainable makes perfect sense,” Mayor Perez said. “In the first year, those 4,500 households recycled more than one million pounds of waste. Not only does that make a tremendous impact on the environment, it also makes a tremendous impact on households and in kitchens across Hartford.”

Recyclebank motivates households to recycle by rewarding each household for the amount they recycle. Recyclebank measures the amount of material recycled and then converts that amount into Recyclebank Points that can be redeemed for rewards, gift cards, groceries, products and events at hundreds of local and national partners including major retailers and brands such as Coca-Cola, Kraft, Seventh Generation, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Ruby Tuesday, CVS/pharmacy and Bed, Bath & Beyond. There is even an option to donate Points to charities or to local schools for environmental programming through the Recyclebank Green Schools Program.

“Hartford businesses have felt a positive surge as well,” Recyclebank Co-founder and CEO Ron Gonen said. “Over the past year, residents have consistently redeemed Recyclebank Points at C-Town, Big Y, Shaw’s, Bravo, and Caridad Restaurant. We consistently see Recyclebank members using more than half of their earned Points with local rewards partners. This provides local economic stimulus, involving the business community in the city’s recycling effort.”

Other participating local reward partners include The Children's Museum, Quassy Amusement Park, Barca Tapas, Fiesta Time, Lozada Jewelry, La Plaza Del Mercado, Aqui Me Quedo, Gitano Food Warehouse, Hispana Vision, Futtner's Family Farm, Mystic Seaport, Mystic Aquarium & Institute for Exploration, and more. On average, members earn hundreds of dollars in reward value each year through their household recycling. Members redeem their Recyclebank Points online or via phone, where they can also learn about their personal environmental footprint through recycling, read about easy ways to be greener, and learn what happens to recyclables once picked up curbside.

“The more you recycle, the more you are rewarded,” Cruz-Aponte said. “Single-stream recycling with Recyclebank has helped Hartford to become a better steward of the environment while stimulating the local economy and putting a little money back in the pockets of our residents.”

“It is our responsibility to be caretakers of the Earth,” Mayor Perez added. “Our expanded recycling program takes us one step closer to ensuring that our city, our state, our planet, will be healthy for future generations.”

Hartford residents must activate their Recyclebank account to redeem their Points for Rewards. Visit or call 1-888-727-2978 to easily activate your account and start earning Points. Recyclebank services more than one million people across 21 states. By cumulative recycling efforts, those households have recycled more than 300,000 tons of material, saving more than 200 million gallons of oil and over 3 million trees. For more information on Recyclebank, visit

First citywide pickup of single-stream recycling is October 26, with cart delivery running through the week of November 2. For more information on the program, call 311 or visit

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Hartford’s successful “Go Green Use Blue” campaign is part of an overall effort to “GreenUp Hartford!” Hartford has fulfilled the “20% by 2010” commitment to purchase at least 20% of the City’s energy from clean energy sources. The City is committed to LEED principles in new and renovated buildings including the new Mary M. Hooker Magnet School for Environmental Studies. Solar Panels have been installed at the Goodwin Branch of the Hartford Public Library. Also, Hartford continues to be named a “Tree USA City.”

Recyclebank® is a rewards program that motivates people to recycle. Using the Recyclebank proprietary three-step process Recycle, Record, Reward™, we quickly and easily measure the amount of material each home recycles and then convert that activity into Recyclebank Points that can be used at hundreds of local and national rewards partners. Recyclebank is simple to implement, market-driven, and proven to work; saving municipalities’ money and rewarding citizens for their environmental stewardship. Kleiner, Perkins, Caulfield and Byers, RRE Ventures, The Westly Group and Sigma Partners are institutional shareholders. Ron Gonen, the co-founder and CEO, is the largest individual shareholder. A global company with offices in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada, Recyclebank is headquartered in New York City. Recyclebank was recently honored as a 2009 World Economic Forum Technology Pioneer and has been named as a 2009 Champion of the Earth by the United Nations. Visit for more information. Fan us at and follow us at

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